How I Met Your Mother 7.14 - 46 Minutes
Marshall and Lily are moving out to their house in Long Island, and the gang is pretty torn up about them leaving. To make themselves feel better by doing something Lily and Marshall would disapprove of, the gang heads out to a strip club. Robin and Kevin play relationship chicken, Ted gets in trouble with some Russian poker players, and Barney thinks Stripper!Lily can replace the original in their group. Meanwhile, Lily's dad makes things uncomfortable for the couple out in Long Island.
What I Liked
Drunk!Ted is priceless. I loved his winning everyone's money at poker and saying stuff like, "I was totally bluffing - I don't even have enough cards!" and singing while stacking up their poker chips into towers.
The fake intro credits, the first time with just Barney, Ted and Robin, and the second time, with Stripper!Lily and New!Marshall instead of Marshall and Lily, were pretty amusing.
I also got a kick out of Robin pointing out the bit of glitter on Kevin's face, and then telling Barney he also had some. We pan to Barney and see his face is covered in glitter.
What I Didn't Like
I've got nothing against Kevin as a character, but Kevin as Robin's boyfriend is boring and annoying at the same time. And since when has Robin been so sensitive to her boyfriends? This is the girl who wanted to throw all Ted's stuff in the storage space when they were going to move in, and here she is tip-toeing around what Kevin may or may not like to do because ... ? She doesn't want to appear to be a killjoy?
Marshall and Lily's storylines by themselves in suburbia are not good. It's just not as funny as I think it's supposed to be, and they feel like they belong on another show. It's like they're both being swallowed up into this boring lifestyle that doesn't really suit them, and they have no storylines outside of it. Yes, they're having a baby. But they don't need to change their personalities because of it. Also, splitting up the gang doesn't work very well.
Twists and Turns
Lily's dad presumably stays longer than 2 weeks? (Or shorter, but I doubt that.)
Robin and Kevin apparently started sleeping together at some point between 7.12 and now.
Because we are given no reason why Robin would be dating Kevin, it's even harder to buy their relationship on-screen. It's dull, we don't care about it, and I feel like Robin's faking it half the time. Which is not cool character-wise, because then she's just using him. And I'm still waiting to find out what the hell happened to her feelings for Barney?? We shouldn't have to guess why the characters are behaving the way they are.
Although the empty booth at the end of the episode was sad, sort of signaling the end of an era, it makes sense. The gang can't always hang out at the bar every night together, even if that means that the days of certain, crazier adventures are over.
But I think what the show writers are forgetting is that they can do mellow, and still be funny. Season 2 is a perfect example of great stories that were told around 2 stable couples and their single friend. They could easily flip back to this style, only with Marshall/Lily and Barney/Robin as the couples, and with Ted as the single guy instead of Ted/Robin and Barney. Some of the best episodes were about trivial events: trying not to hear the results of the football game, trying to make a flight and tracing the bad luck back to a penny, remiscing about Marshall's old car. These stories are all ones that could still be done, and involve the whole gang. Moving Marshall and Lily out into the suburbs and writing silly strip-club shenanigans for the rest of the gang is not the way to do this.
While there were some good laughs, this episode was silly and very much a filler. On syndication, this episode will probably be okay, similar to some of the goofier ones from Season 5. But when you're waiting week to week to see some resolution on important storylines, it's an annoying roadblock. Hopefully next week we'll get back to some real stories, and let's also hope it doesn't veer too far into the over-dramatic again.